Monday, December 31

2012 in Review

2012 was another fabulous year for Nate and me. It is so fun to look back on the year and remember all the great things we were able to do during the year.

Here are some of my favorite events from 2012:

*Seattle trip: in July Nate and I were able to take a few days of work and drive up to washington. We spent two days camping and hiking around Mt. Rainer national park and then a couple more days in the city, including Bainbridge Island, a Mariners baseball game, Pikes's Place, and more.

*Liebe: in January we added another pet to our family. We got a cute little tabby cat, who is full of sass. We named her Liebe (pronounced Lee-bah) which is German for love. She escaped outside for a few days last month and scared us a little, and we are glad to have her home.

*St. George: in May we took a long weekend and met my parents in St. George. We really enjoyed spending the time with them. We rode our bikes in Snow Canyon. We ate at a Bear diner, yum. We rode our bikes around the city. We did a tour of the city, went to the Brigham Young house and the temple. Also, we hiked the red was a fun trip.

*Thanksgiving: My parents came with my grandma B and their foreign exchange student Marta to our house for a few days. We ate Turkey dinner at my aunt's house in Alpine with 55 people. We also had a pie night with some of my Brinkman cousins.

*Yellowstone/Tetons/Jackson Hole: The Berretts came to Utah for 2 weeks in July and August. We spent the tail end of their time with a trip to wyoming. We went to old faithful, saw geysers and buffalo at yellowstone. paddled in canoos at Jenny Lake. Wandered the shoos of Jackson Hole. And just had fun.

*Christmas: Nate and I were able to get a lot of time of work and go to Virginia for Christmas to spend time with the Berretts. We stayed in Va for 11 days. We went to Harper's Ferry, Antietam, and DC. Played games, including ping pong, Mario Kart, and Bananagrams, and the boys played basketball. Ate way too much food. And of course enjoyed opening Christmas presents together. (I will post more about this soon)

*New Job: In October I decided to make the leap to a full time job at Heritage, and give up teaching and my other part time job. I am now the executive assistant at Heritage working with the executive team, and helping with special project. Its a really fun job, and I feel like it was built for me, plus I get benefits now too.

*Heber Creeper: Nate and I have been wanting to ride the Heber Creeper for a while, and we figured the Polar Express ride in the winter months was the perfect time to do it. We took a fun ride up to the North Pole while enjoying Christmas tunes, a cookie and hot chocolate, and a visit from Mr. Clause himself. This is definitely something we want to make a tradition.

Happy New Year to you all! I hope your year has been as fabulous as ours and I hope the next year will be even better!

Sunday, December 16

Polar Express - Heber Creeper

Nate and I have a list of things that we want to do in Utah Valley, while we live here we might as well take advantage of as much of it as we can. (No, we aren't moving any time soon - maybe like 8 years?) Anyway, one of the things on our list was taking a ride on the Heber Creeper. The Heber Valley Railroad is an old fashioned railroad that now operates for special events and holidays. They have a haunted Halloween Ride and a ride to the North Pole for Christmas.

We decided we wanted to take a ride on the Polar Express and we took a ride last Friday. The train had original cars and it was decorated with Christmas lights. It was a little chilly despite the heater in the back of the train. But it was, nonetheless, and awesome experience that we'll definitely want to repeat. There was an MC named Gary who told us the history of the Heber Creeper, movies it's been used for and directed the passengers in song. 

We were visited by Mrs. Clause, Santa's Elves and even Mr. Santa Clause himself. They gave us a chocolate chip cookie, and hot chocolate and we enjoyed singing Christmas tunes. It was so fun for Nate and I, and I think this might be something we want to make into a new tradition for us, especially as our family of two grows (no, I am not pregnant) over the years.

Tuesday, December 4

Thanksgiving 2012

My parents, grandma Brinkman and Marta (a foreign exchange student living with my parents - from Italy) drove up for Thanksgiving and stayed at our house for a few days. It is so nice that Nate and I have a house big enough to host family, even if they didn't all get their own full room. Even having 4 extra people we still had plenty of hot water and laughs to go around.

Thanksgiving dinner was at my aunt Cherie's house this year.With all of my dad's siblings, their spouses, children and great grand children it was a full house with about 55 people. But don't worry we were still able to get a group picture.

Thanksgiving dinner was delicious. Mom and I each made a pie. I made a berry custard pie, that I think turned out delicious.

Friday I worked a half day (Nate worked all day), and then I went with my parents, grandma and Marta to the mall to do some black Friday shopping. I was able to get a few things for great prices. And came home with about a dozen things for about 75 dollars, including belts, headbands, shirts, shoes and more.

We spent Friday night with my Garrett extended family again at the stake center in Alpine playing games with the family. Including pictionary, human foosball and more. It was a blast.

Saturday evening we had my Brinkman cousins over to our house for a "pie night". This included pizza pie and dessert pies. For this I made a caramel apple pie that was the best apple pie I've ever had. And it was great company too.

Sunday night we all drove up to the temple to see the Christmas lights. Luckily it wasn't too cold of a night, and it wasn't too crowded either. But the lights were as gorgeous as ever.